The American League of Lobbyists is vowing to continue fighting what it calls attacks by the Obama administration on the lobbying profession.

At the group’s annual meeting last week, president Howard Marlowe said Obama’s public stance against lobbyists is “not good for what they claim they want, which is transparency.”

The Obama administration has decried the influence of K Street in Washington, pushing lobbying ethics measures and pledging not to take campaign contributions from lobbyists — despite hiring former Bryan Cave lobbyist Broderick Johnson last month as a senior adviser for the 2012 campaign.

“We have, and will continue to speak up against regulations against our rights,” Marlowe said. “We need to make sure we defend [the lobbying profession] and advance it.”

Some members of the association are working on a proposal to improve lobbying disclosure laws, which they plan to present to the board early next month.

The 1,300-member association has had a challenging year with the death of longtime executive director Patti Jo Baber in late 2010. The group’s new executive director Danielle Staudt Abe is to take the helm in January, taking over leadership duties from interim executive director Gina Bancroft.

McKenna Long & Aldridge in merger talks

Firm leaders at McKenna Long & Aldridge, an Atlanta-based firm with the oldest and largest government contracts practice in the District, may soon merge with the San Diego-based Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps, partners at both firms said last week.

The firms “are discussing a potential combination,” according to a joint statement released last week.

McKenna Long & Aldridge is an international firm with 475 attorneys and advisers in 10 offices; it represents 10 of the 15 largest defense contractors based on total contracting dollars in 2011. Luce Forward has 140 lawyers in six California offices.

“We share similar cultures and strategic plans, and are both interested in exploring opportunities to bolster our practices and services,” MLA chairman Jeff Haidet said.